Quaker practice invites Friends to listen deeply to the Inward Teacher and then to follow the leading that comes as a result. This is foundational to our faith, and individuals and meetings expect ourselves to be guided by Spirit in our daily decisions and with the direction of our lives. One way of responding to Spirit is through political action, including creating lasting and structural change through local, state, and federal legislation. Individuals may do this without limitation. When monthly, quarterly, and yearly meeting engagement is political, in addition to seeking unity in spiritual discernment we must also consider what is legally necessary for our non-profit organization. [Read more…] about Policy on Advocacy Explained
Peace & Social Justice
“Intolerance festers and metastasizes in darkness and silence: it depends and feeds upon apathy and indifference. Each of us can play a part in preventing that from happening.”
— Dave Austin, Clerk, Haddonfield Friends Meeting
Administrative Council, after months of research and listening, approved a Policy on Advocacy in our yearly meeting which encourages Friends to follow their individual leadings and also articulates the limitations of a religion under the law. This story shares the policy and offers context and examples.
[Read more…] about Approved Policy on Advocacy
General Secretary, Christie Duncan-Tessmer, in consultation with Presiding Co-Clerks, Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch and Frank Barch, joined over 100 Christian leaders of the governing board of the National Council of Churches in Christ in signing an open letter to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, asking him to speak out against his country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The letter, sent to Kirill today, March 11, laments the “tragic and terrible loss of innocent civilian life” and includes an “earnest plea that you use your voice and profound influence to call for an end to the hostilities and war in Ukraine and intervene with authorities in your nation to do so.” [Read more…] about Christian Leaders Send Open Letter to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill
On Sunday of Spring Continuing Sessions weekend, we encourage meetings to “create your own” intergenerational gathering of Friends. While the pandemic has opened the possibility to join together from across the PYM region without travel, which we’ll do on Saturday online, our local meetings are where we gather most often across generations for fellowship, worship, learning, and business. Let’s continue the energy of being together at Sessions in the time after worship on Sunday morning, March 27. Shared here are resources and suggestions to plan simple opportunities for togetherness!
A parent in my meeting shared with me that they were not sure how to talk to their children about Russia’s war on Ukraine. I recalled a line in an article that had resonated for me as a parent and educator: We don’t have to protect children from difficult feelings, but we must not leave them alone with them. The Tote Bag newsletter for March/April has many resources and events to share with meetings and families, but these ideas for supporting one another and talking about ways to create peace are perhaps the most important. [Read more…] about Religious Education Resources for March & April 2022
Quakers from around the world are in anguish and deeply concerned with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our hearts are with the people of Ukraine and Quakers in the affected areas in this dark time. As a historic peace church, we join our call for peace in the world to their cries for peace and help. [Read more…] about Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Response to the Crisis in Ukraine
After a year-long discernment process, members of PYM’s Indian Committee, with approval from PYM’s Granting Committee and Administrative Council, have agreed upon a new name, the Quaker Fund for Indigenous Communities Granting Group. The granting group’s statement below has been shared with past members, past grant recipients, Quakers, and organizations with related missions:
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) will again determine its legislative priorities by asking Meetings and Churches to discern their own lists for work in Washington. During January and February, each monthly meeting in PYM will receive an invitation from FCNL to discern what issues should be the focus of FCNL’s work in Washington over the next Congress.
On February 5th, about 125 Friends gathered for the PYM program Thread Gathering: Restorative Racial Justice. Following a morning with Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting facilitators .O and Dana Reinhold, three different collaboratives–Middle East Collaborative, First Contact Reconciliation Collaborative (FCRC) and Eco-Justice Collaborative–offered overviews of current work. Below is a follow-up story by FCRC. [Read more…] about Spirit of First Contact Reconciliation: What’s Going On?